The evening of December 12, 2017 marks the beginning of Hanukkah, one of the most anticipated and respected holidays in the Jewish tradition.
Hanukkah commemorates the rededication of the Holy Temple in Jerusalem at the time of the Maccabean Revolt against the Seleucid Empire. It is observed for eight nights and days, starting on the 25th day of Kislev according to the Hebrew calendar, which may occur at any time from late November to late December in the Gregorian calendar. Hanukkah is also known as the Festival of Lights and the Feast of Dedication.
The festival is observed by lighting the candles of a candelabrum with nine branches, called the Hanukkah menorah. Other Hanukkah festivities include eating oil-based foods such as doughnuts and latkes. Since the 1970s, the worldwide Chabad Hasidic movement has initiated public menorah lightings in open public places in many countries.